We don’t make it downtown all that often- which is a shame for 2 reasons: It’s super hip (GQ named downtown LA the next American great city) and the food scene is unreal. More and more restaurants are opening their doors amongst our skyscrapers, offering more than just dinner but exciting brunches as well. Our dear friends The Caitlins just so happened to be celebrating one of their birthdays over brunch this past weekend… downtown! Our two favorite things; cats birthdays and brunch! Even better, they chose a new-ish venue not yet on our directory (they moved locations), The Must. Kate’s been busy saving the world lately so I had to fly this one solo.
I understand why The Caitlins chose this spot; they are designers after all. The patio's perched above the sidewalk and it buzzes with activity. Green, fern-like plants sprout from window boxes, creating some uncommon (and thoroughly appreciated) privacy. Inside, you'll find booths and high top tables, family style layouts and a stunning bar. I am madly in love with their wall cutouts, which double as wine-bottle displays; they're totally functional and inspiringly creative. Downstairs, by the ladies room, I found myself in a hallway with Zoltar- yes, the fortune teller from the movie Big. And in the restroom? Only the best wallpaper ever made; a woman riding a hotdog with champagne in her hand? Ok, maybe it's not the best choice for a living room, but for this place? Perfect!
Casey, the gentleman of the house, was very friendly and introduced me to my new favorite downtown libation; Bottomless Sorbet Sparklers (A scoop of fresh fruit sorbet topped w/ sparkling wine, choice of sorbets-passion fruit-rasperry-pink champagne $15). I tried every variety and love all three. Their Bottomless Shook-Up Shandys looked refreshing (Heavenly Hefe, lemon & ginger juice topped w/ Boylan lemon lime soda $15) and I tried someone’s Spicy Syrah spiked Bloody Mary (special wine soaked bloody recipe, choice of vodka-gin-tequila $10) which was delicious.
The menu is pleasantly varied, offering decadent dishes, vegan plates, chili-covered fare and good old fashion grilled cheese sandwiches. The three items that caught my eye were the Chunky Corned Beef Hash (housemade corned beef & fingerling hash w/ 2 poached eggs & toast or biscuit $13), the Brisket Chili Mess (3 eggs scrambled w/ homemade chili & topped w/ cheddar onions & crème fresh $12) and the Green Fog Mess (3 eggs scrambled w/ wilted greens, zucchini, avocado & humbolt fog goat cheese $12). I ended up opting for the Green Fog Mess with a side of smashed tots (and somehow managed not to get any pictures before I ate it, oops). I loved the zucchini and avocado mix. It was strikingly fresh and the goat cheese added sparks of flavor without overpowering. The Smashed Tots deserve an Oscar for their performance. Whoever invented these salty, perfectly crisped potato cakes THANK YOU. But wait, I almost forgot about the best supporting actor - the Thick & Sweet Bacon. As promised, these guys were thick, and they arrived glazed in a gooey maple syrup: the perfect ratio of salty and sweet.
The Must provides a table full of games, encouraging patrons to hang out and stay a while. I love their attitude, their service, the food and their décor. Looks like we’ll be making the trek downtown more often!
117 Winston St. Los Angeles, CA 90013 (213) 628-2000
Photo courtesy of The Must
Photo courtesy of The Must
Photo courtesy of Kevin T. via Yelp
Clip for our Tastemade video
Shandy and Smashed Tots
Photo courtesy of unknown